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Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 9626

Map Reference SS58NW

Grid Reference SS54578919

Unitary (Local) Authority Swansea

Old County Glamorgan

Community Ilston

Type of Site CHAPEL


Period Post Medieval

Site Description Pisgah Independent Chapel was first built in 1822, being the last of six to be built at the expense of Lady Diana Barham, the benefactress of the evangelical movement, who came to live in Gower in 1813 and died in 1823. The design is more architecturally ambitious than the others, and has a classical Regency character with its stuccoed finish and separately roofed pavilions on each side. Of the chapels which Lady Barham helped to found four, including this one, became Independent when Lady Barham's co-operation with the Calvinistic Methodists ceased in early 1823. Pisgah was altered internally and externally in 1890; the religious census of 1851 lists Mount Pisgah as seating 200 but the Nonconformist County Statistics for 1905 (published 1911) indicate only 160 seats and nothing remains of the original seating or pulpit. The central porch and its internal vestibule were also probably added at this time, and in the twentieth century the left pavilion was converted into a post office.

The exterior of the chapel is stuccoed apart from a stone plinth. The front elevation is of three windows and has pavilion porches at each side which are separately roofed. Pilasters define each bay of the front elevation, and there are broader corner pilasters with recessed panels. The centre window is round-headed, the others segmental-headed and all have later glazing with margin panes in coloured glass. There is a small central datestone with the wording 'Mount Pisgah Chapel 1822' over the central window, while on the ground storey is a central gabled porch with round-arch and panelled double doors. Set back slightly at each side, is a small single-storey block in the manner of a pavilion. Both are advanced to the centre and given an open-pediment treatment with broad round-arched recesses containing similarly arched doorways, both with fanlights and panelled doors. The side elevations each have two wide, flat-headed casement windows with marginal glazing.

The interior is open, with an arcade of two small arches to the left pavilion, and a doorway to the right pavilion. The central doorway leads to a timber screened vestibule, with a tiled floor and side doors leading to the interior. The original chapel floor has been lost and the present pews are all late nineteenth century. At the front there is a dais with a nineteenth century Gothic organ case, acquired in the late twentieth century, a table and a corner pulpit in the Anglican manner.

(Source: Cadw listing database)
RCAHMW, April 2008